Palliative medicine is family-centered, life-affirming care that improves the quality of life for those living with a serious illness. It provides an extra layer of support not just for patients, but also for family members who are by your side.
The Palliative Medicine team at Baptist Health Deaconess Madisonville consults with you while you are in the hospital to help manage your symptoms, enhance your comfort, and ease the stress and anxiety of being sick.
What Can You Expect?
Palliative medicine is appropriate for any age and during any stage of a serious illness, and is provided alongside curative care. Our team, which includes a palliative medicine physician, nurse practitioner, social worker, nurse, chaplain and volunteers, works with your doctor and hospital staff to ensure you receive:
- Relief from symptoms, including pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, constipation, nausea, loss of appetite, numbness, and problems with sleep.
- Improved ability to tolerate medical treatments and the side effects of the disease.
- Improved ability to carry on with daily life.
- Emotional, practical, and spiritual support for you and your family.
- Discussion about your goals, concerns and treatment options.
- Coordination of care among all your healthcare providers.
- Palliative medicine differs from hospice care in that it is intended for patients with life-limiting illnesses, not just patients with imminently terminal conditions.
Begin Palliative Medicine Early
Palliative medicine can occur at the same time as all other treatments for your illness. There’s absolutely no reason to wait. In fact, some studies have shown that palliative care may extend life. Pain and other symptoms affect your quality of life, and stress can have a big impact on your family.
Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover palliative medicine. It is handled as another medical service, such as oncology or cardiology.
You Are Not Alone
Having a disease can take its toll on your life in so many ways. Living with it puts a heavy burden on your body as well as your spirit. Patients with serious illnesses often experience a confusing cascade of physical, emotional, psychosocial and spiritual uncertainty. At times, a disease may seem to take over your life, making you feel as if you no longer have control. If you have a life-limiting disease — or care for someone who does — you are not alone.
For more information, or to speak with a member of the Palliative Medicine team, call 270-825-7377.